Trip report: RSPB Otmoor (26 May 2013)

Seventeen members met in this beautiful Oxfordshire reserve on a sunny, warm morning. The walk started brilliantly in the car park with a Cuckoo calling, the distant purring of a Turtle Dove and the song of Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and a Garden Warbler. The reserve is a mosaic of wet meadows, and reed bed together with some hedges and mature trees and there are extensive big, wide-open sky views. Raptors then put on a good show with Red Kite, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Hobby all performing well. As we approached one of the mature trees another Turtle Dove began calling. Whether it was a master of camouflage or a ventriloquist, despite standing only a few yards from the bird, it remained unseen. We walked beside a ditch which was fringed with a small amount of reed. Small it may have been but good enough to give all a wonderful close view of a female Bearded Tit, with accompanying “pinging”. Also seen and heard were Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler and Reed Bunting. The rattle of a Lesser Whitethroat was new for some and a Common Whitethroat was seen and heard for comparison. Bullfinch, Linnet, Stock Dove, Little Egret and Redshank were all noted and Common Terns were flying close by. About fifty four species were encountered during the morning including nine species of warbler.